So I’m still all in fighting for
pub but life has taught me never to stand still and never to not have many irons in many fires, without that you’ll never get to where you want and my desire for the pub is all consuming!
Glorious this weekend so went out with my son on the bike to look at other venues, looked at two that were no hope’s due to location/situation/business but wasn’t particularly interested so no great loss. Then on way home we looked at a curve ball, thought I knew the pub but my memories were seriously out of date! 100 cover restaurant, parking for 50 cars, long rolling gardens overlooking fields heading to river, two olde world bars with real fires. Sound good? Well it was but (there always is one) it trades heavy on the dry with last years barrelage down on mine at the Ship, its in the middle of nowhere with minimal local trade.
This all combines to say that you have to hit the road running, no slack when your rates are coming on for £2K a month! Would need as a minimum 3 waitress/bar staff, head, sous and prep chef even with me full time! That’s a hell of a leg up from where my business plans are and I really am not a dry led man I want my pub and I will suffer food but this places is like 75/25 dry/wet trading area split!
So that rules it right out, there’s no way I could be that mad? Or is it the ability to leap and to take risk that grows success? Is it the Bransons of the world that steal opportunity from risk? For me all I can tell you is I am laying on my bed in the Marriott at waltham abbey and the notepad is filled with the maths around a half million pound pub and its running costs . . . .
Well this is not a bug that’s easy to beat! It is truly breaking my heart to see ‘my pub’ being badly run by somebody who has been granted an ‘opportunity’ to play at publican. Don’t get me wrong I don’t begrudge the lad the £100 a week wages but I hate knowing the lack of interest and care that comes with that, I’ve seen it time and time again and there is just no respect.
Pubs are weird businesses and for me you have to love them or the customers realise and the lack of love destroys the business worse still it leaves the building with no soul. I know it sounds daft but when you’ve sat at 4 in the morning with a cup of coffee in an empty pub you have an opportunity to bond with the soul of the place and, if it agrees, add your personality the list of names that have truly been the landlord, not the managers or visitors but the true landlords. When you feel that for a premises then watching anyone treat it with less than total respect is worse than watching somebody drive your car badly, worse even than watching somebody handle your bike badly it’s more like going to a care home and seeing your parents treated badly.
Well the madness is all pervading so today Christies have an offer that is nothing more than insane, re reading it scares me! The offer will stay valid for one week and I have assured them that future offers will be lower. If they don’t accept this deal then it will be a case of waiting until Deloittes finally see through London Taverns and their lies and realise that the business is what it is.
On a lighter note my most gorgeous motorcycle visited my very good friends at Agincourt Auto’s today and they smiled and tickled her before giving her yet another clean pass MOT what a machine and what a fan base!
So I spent an evening looking through the various sales sites to see what was out there and I most definitely concluded that the valuation of the Tavern was realistic and therefore the current offer is well over. The logic for this can be found in the fact that for the same price there is a beautiful thatched country Inn overlooking the village green and turning over quarter million a year, let me reiterate that last point the pub is trading and in superb condition.
It strikes me that the administrators of the Tavern have google walked the area and their expectations have been artificially elevated, lets hope we can reset them!
On the hunt side of though all is not well, I see beautiful pubs with lush gardens in sleepy villages but I don’t think that’s what I want. I know (and have previously blogged about it) that I love the sea and want to be near it but I also think I want the competition (and support) of having a couple of pubs around me. I am still working on this theory and have not fully understood it but it really does seem to me that as much as I love rural life I wouldn’t want the claustrophobia of being in a small village with one pub. Given the speed at which my procurement process is going I should have plenty of time to work it out.
I am struggling at the moment not knowing whether to give up, seek somewhere else or wait. In honesty I don’t ever give up so its a combination of the other two but I have very little enthusiasm at the moment as you can imagine.
So I’ve just emailed all the people hanging on the deal and gotta love Julie (my broker) who immediately replies that she will wait and that the lender knows the situation and is going nowhere, given the state of the market and finance that’s some mighty confidence and a welcome glimmer.
I have a couple of places to drive round at the weekend, nothing jumps out at me but I think that’s because I have my heart set on the Tavern. Beautiful buildings abound but they are not my pub but I’m hoping a drive around will pique my interest. Above all one thing is CERTAIN I am buying a bloody pub!
Just heard from Christies and the administrators remain adamant that the site holds more value (despite agreeing a deal 7 weeks ago) so they are getting another agent in to value for sale for alternative use.
It comes to something when they would rather bulldoze than sell to me!
Two more weeks waiting, feeling sick and tired and just wanting to give up right now it really shouldn’t be this hard 😦
Well current offer expires tomorrow, I know the vendors returned to the office yesterday and I also know there was a meeting this afternoon. The agent knows that I am throwing my everything at closing the deal and yet my phone has been stubbornly silent!
I have a further shot or two and am desperately battling to keep my powder dry which is an odd switch from a few weeks ago when my last offer was acceptable and I was pressuring for a date.
I am now trying to convince myself that the reason for the delay is because its good news, it must be right? After all I’ve not had any for ages.
Weird thing is that work is manic, both in terms of what we do and in terms of the political machinations behind the scenes and the sneaky job offers and courtships that make industry work. But all of this seems to be almost dreamlike, I know its there and I move amongst it as I always have but it has a sense of remoteness as I fight the other front and look to proudly proclaim my victory.
Well here goes for a week of stress and panics, long since decided that its all in for this one so its mostly down to Christies and Deloittes now, heres hoping that I have done what was needed to get Simon on side and that the man goes in strong.
Its all positive thoughts from here on, just gotta sort the technicalities and get the keys to my pub!